The idea of whom the public should look to for protection, I’m not talking about physical but consumer protection, has been on my mind lately. This might have something to do with my studying for philosophy of biology and the readings from “From Naked Ape to Superspecies” by David Suzuki and Holly Dressel on the impact of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). When I talk about products in this post I’m focusing on food.
I don’t want to get into a discussion on the merits or disadvantages of GMOs, mostly because I don’t completely know what to make of them myself. What I do know is that trusting any company that seeks to make a profit to have my best interests at heart will not work. The bottom line motivates all decisions a corporation makes. Despite the implications to my own heath if a product makes money it will be forced on the market. You can call this what you want, even the inherent problems of capitalism.
However the consumer must be made aware of the risk associated with any product and therefore we require, and have the right to a regulatory body to oversee the introduction of new products. The manufacture cannot be trusted to give an honest assessment and often the government is swayed by their own potential profits in these deals.
A third party organization is the only viable third option. They can avoid the profit motivation and focus entirely on fair judgment of a product. This is not to say that they don’t have their own agenda, it just isn’t going to potentially harm me. In my next post I’m going to look at what such an organization might look like and accomplish.